‘Is it true…blondes have more fun?’
Since this provocative line to promote Clairol home hair colour was penned by US ad exec Shirley Polykoff back in the 1950s, the idea that blondes have a better time has become part of global consciousness. Blonde = bubbly, fun and frivolous. Brunette = natural, sophisticated but sensible. And every time a celebrity changes the colour of their hair the same old research – most likely commissioned by a hair dye company – is wheeled out as the age old debate continues.
Which do you prefer?
As a natural brunette, my inclination is to fly the flag for those with darker locks. However I’d be lying if I said I was completely immune to the lure of the bleach blonde bottle, and every summer for the last seven or so years I’ve headed to the hairdresser for some (incredibly natural of course) honey blonde highlights. I don’t want to dye my hair forever, but I like the option of mixing things up, of changing my hairstyle to suit my mood and the time of year.
Which brings me onto brownies. Which – surprise… – is what we’re really talking about here. Brownies vs. blondies to be precise. Dark vs. light, The yin and yang of the sugary snack world.
In the time I’ve been blogging I’ve posted a fair few recipes for brownies and consumed several (dozen) more. The blondie has only had a single look in. Why? Unlike its bottle blonde counterpart, the blondie supposedly pre-dated what we now know as a classic chocolate brownie. Blonde brownies (or blondies) are said to be descendants of ginger cakes dating back to Renaissance times, but by the time the 1950s came around (and blonde hair dye was in its ascendance) they’d been relegated to secondary status behind their popular chocolate cousin.
The main difference between blondies and brownies is cocoa content. While brownies contain varying degrees of cocoa and taste predominantly of chocolate, a blondie’s flavour comes from soft brown sugar. Often slightly chewier than a brownie (because of the high sugar content) a blondie is super sweet and fairly dense ( think chocolate chip cookie dough baked into a bar) with a crisp crust and notes of butterscotch running through it.
I find that blondies can sometimes be a little too sweet. Without a hit of chocolate running through the batter, the sugar can become almost overpowering, and I think the tendency of recipes to team them with add-ins such as banana, caramel and white chocolate can be a bit too much if you’re not careful. However get it just right and the blondie can be a glorious thing, so delicious in its own right that you’d never dare to compare it to a brownie.
I’m hoping this recipe does just that job. I made this batch of blondies for Carnivorous Boyfriend which explains the inclusion of peanut butter (he is a major fan). The Oreos I had to hand after making a batch of Cookies & Cream fudge over Christmas (thanks to Julia at Café Lula) and I’m pleased to report that the two work really well together, providing just enough saltiness to balance the sugar-sweet binding of the blondie. The Oreos retain their shape really well, adding an element of crunch to each chewy, gooey mouthful (although one friend did remark that the dark ridges hiding under the batter looked a little like pieces of fake eyelash baked into the dough. Hmm . . .)
There are really only two ways to serve these blondies; as a dessert with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, or on their own with a cold glass of milk. Lots of milk. It cuts through the sweetness of each mouthful, creating the ultimate harmony of sugar, salt and cream. Yum.
Do blondes have more fun? I couldn’t possibly say. But every so often we should definitely give them a chance . . .
Cookies & Cream Peanut Butter Blondies (adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen)
125 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150 g smooth peanut butter (unsweetened if possible)
175 g light brown muscovado sugar
1 large free range egg + 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 x Oreos, quartered
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the quartered Oreos, folding gently to form a dough.
Scrape your dough into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown but still slightly soft in the centre (a skewer with emerge with some crumbs, as with a brownie).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.
38 RESPONSES TO Cookies & Cream Peanut Butter Blondies
As a natural brunette who has gone blonde, yes, blondes do have more fun. 😀
Your blondies look fabulous!!! I love Rachel Allen’s recipes. Always so delicious and reliable.
I’ve just died and gone to heaven. This is brilliant, and amazing! I’ve never seen oreos incoporated into a peanut butter blondie. You KNOW I’m making these! My nephew will go nuts over them! How I wish I had one now!
Great recipe. Looks gorgeous
I love oreo brownies – I think they were the first recipe I ever posted – but I really like the idea of using them in blondies! Must give this a go.
This is the sack lunch dessert that makes every kid at school pant and drool with envy! Deliciously American and decadent!
Happy New Year! What a great recipe, and I do have a need for baking next week so will do these xx
Loved your write up. I’m proud to be red haired!
Pictures look great 🙂
Jennifer – I’ve not made many Rachel Allen recipes but this one worked a treat so will definitely try more!
Lisa – so glad you like them and hope your nephew enjoys!
The Legal Tart – thank you.
Kathryn – you know I’ve never put Oreos in a brownie or blondie before? I just had some left over after Christmas and couldn’t resist!
Susan – they definitely feel like a very American snack!
Laura – thank you.
Regula – ooh, I totally missed off redheads…what could you be? A red velvet cupcake? A beetroot brownie?! 🙂
I want to be a beetroot brownie!!!!!!!!!
OHGoodness! They look amazing
Well aren’t these just the medicine for sore eyes?
I am ashamed to say I’ve never tried a blondie – your photos are lovely and I’m drooling.
I don’t discriminate against any blondies OR brownies… but these really have some of my favorite things all in one!
Oh don’t make me choose between blondies and brownies! I think I’d have to agree with you though. These blondies look right, and I’m just about dying to have one now. The oreos inside look so so good, can’t believe I’ve never thought of that before! Going on my to-make list. 🙂
You had me at cookies. And then again at cream. And once more at peanut butter…
these look REALLY good, yummy and blondes def have more fun – cheeky wink
Edible Substance – thank you!
Oh Shine On – glad you like them 🙂
The Caked Crusader – you need to remedy that very soon 🙂
Lauren – agreed, I’m pretty happy with either.
Amy – sorry, I know – it’s much too tricky a choice to ask people to make 🙂
Movita – haha glad you like them.
Ruthie – 🙂
YUM! I’m pretty sure this encompasses just about all of my favorite things about dessert! I love spreading peanut butter on top of oreos, and I bet it is delicious together in a blondie!
I’m like you, natural brunette, went to the hairdresser in search of some blonde-age a long time again, but don’t want the cost or hassle of having to constantly dye my hair. Luckily I love the colour of my hair, and it gets lots of love for it’s colour too 🙂
I am a blonde and I can say I have had a lot of fun, but a lot of that fun was had with my dark haired best friends and husband so there you go. I am definitely a brownie person but have baked my fair share of blondies. Sweet, yes a little too sweet for me. But wonderfully chewy and love that brown sugar flavor every once in a while. I would’ve thought the Oreos added to the sweetness, but I guess the PB balances it out. What I do know is I totally trust you when it comes to baking.
Blondies or Brownies? That is one of the hardest choices to make. Blondies are seductive with their caramel flavors but brownies charm with their rich chocolatyness.
I’ve been a blonde, a brunette and a red head. I’ve had fun as all three, but until now I have never felt brave enough to admit that brownies don’t really do it for me…I much prefer a blondie and these sound like perfection. Love the Oreo addition for crunch.
PS: I adore Rachel Allen’s Bake. I use it all the time and I’ve never had a duff recipe even once.
Oh my goodness I have all the ingredients in for these. I must not make, I must not make…
I’ve been dying my hair various colours since I was 13 so didn’t actually know what my natural colour was until 6 months ago… at the moment I’d say I prefer blonde but that’s only because it’s been so long since I dyed my hair blonde that I’m itching to go back!
Aaaanyway, on the actual topic, I would definitely have chosen brownies until you added oreos to blondies. Now I just don’t know! These look gorgeous anyway, and I have many packets of Oreos to get through so it would just be silly not to try them.
Love all the fun facts in here! I didn’t know that about the dye ads, or about the history of blondies. I agree that often they are too sweet but these look like pure perfection!
I’m not an Oreo fan but I love the addition of peanut butter to your blondies…change the oreos out for chunks of chocolate and you have heaven! Love it!
Ah there goes my new years resolution! These look AMAZING!
Oh dear. Those look absolutely amazing. Am going to have to make them. And my new year’s resolutions of losing five pounds go right out of the window…
hehe great post 🙂 I don’t know if blondes have more fun but as someone with black hair I can attest that I have a lot of fun! I find blondies quite sweet too so it’s great that your recipe addresses the sweetness balance! 😀
hur hur I have dark brown hair, and I think I have quite a lot of fun! anyway give me a choice between a brownie and a blondie and I’ll most definitely reach for the brownie, though I must say, your blondie looks pretty amazing!
Erin – ooh that sounds like a good speedy snack, will have to try!
Shellie – I know what you mean, dying your hair involves so much maintenance it can be a real pain.
Nuts About Food – the Oreo cream is quite sweet, but the cookie crust has almost salty element which I think helps cut through the sweetness. Although I’m not fooling anyone, these are still pretty sickly sweet! 🙂
Sylvie – it’s such a hard decision. I think brownies might just win if I had to pick one to eat for the rest of my life, but these are good.
Miss South – I’ve never made anything else from Bake, might have to buy myself a copy! (found these on the internet)
Jules – I know from Twitter that you did make them 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
Julia – it would be rude not to try them once at the very least 🙂
Katherine – it’s amazing how much influence a single ad can have on common sayings and how we think.
Jamie – they would be equally, if not even more, delicious with chocolate chunks. Substitute away! Although definitely dark or milk chocolate – a lot of people put white chocolate in blondies and I think it can be too sweet.
Anna – haha, NY resolutions were made for breaking!
Skye – ditto what I said to Anna 🙂
Lorraine – blonde and brunette, blondies and brownies, they all have their own special merits! 🙂
Shu Han – thank you!
I’ve seen this a lot recently… Got me drooling for some oreos, really! IMO, I prefer brunettes. I’m personally an asian with really really black hair. But i love brunette hair colour 😉 And i’m not sure who has more fun. But that in its own is a stereotype… 😀
These look fab, I love blondies but you don’t see them as often as brownies.
Having spent 3 years as a blonde in my early twenties I can vouch that you do get more attention – sadly this isn’t always positive. I was always getting hassled by strange men in the street and this was one of the reasons I ditched the colour. No such problems with red hair!
Jesica – you can never have enough Oreos in your life 🙂
Sarah – thank you! I think brownies are better suited to more occasions, but every so often only a blondie will do 🙂
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I have made these today and they are fantastic. I love blondies and am usually more than happy with the gooey buttery sugary goodness. Usually I like nuts (salted peanuts!) to provide a bit of crunch and a contrast to cut through the sweetness a bit. And I don’t even particularly love Oreos…
…but these are great! the peanut butter makes these a little less dense than other blondies I’ve made in the past, without resulting in the doughiness you often get when upping flour amount. The Oreos provide a wonderful contrast in taste, colour and texture (crunch!).